Talk:112th United States Congress

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References[edit]

This page doesn't seem to have any references for the list. Shouldn't that be addressed? I'm looking for a primary source on this. 38.98.236.173 (talk) 14:57, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Census?[edit]

Why would we use 2000 census data to allocate seats to the 112th congress, when we will have had the 2010 census already? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.182.40.148 (talk) 02:14, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Because it takes a little time for the states to conduct redistricting. The Census is done during 2010. Then the seats are apportioned nationally. Then the states redistrict their seats. By the 2012 elections, the new districts are used for the 113th United States Congress which begins in 2013.—Markles 11:35, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

437 Representatives[edit]

Keep an eye on this page. There's no need to jump the gun, obviously, but if the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2009 becomes law (which is quite likely), we can edit the sidebar to provide for 437 (rather than 435) voting members of the House of Representatives. --Kudzu1 (talk) 23:31, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Final House Summary and Maps[edit]

All the races have been decided, and the Congress will be sworn in in two weeks. We need to update this article with all the final maps and House Summery. Can someone please add in the new house map and update the house summary picture? Thank you! --Dollar12748 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 02:10, 23 December 2010 (UTC).


Map?[edit]

Will a map be added soon, similar to other Congresses' entries? 70.249.240.214 (talk) 14:27, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

  • I presume that once all the races are settled (which they are not, yet), then some kind soul will create and add maps for both houses.—Markles 14:51, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Obama Presidency[edit]

We don't know that Obama won't resign or die in office, so how can we put that itwill be his 3rd and 4th years?--Carolinapanthersfan (talk) 15:08, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

One can assume that he will complete his term of office and obviously change that assumption should he die, resign, be impeached and expelled, be overthrown in a military coup, or even be kidnapped by space aliens.

It is obviously unwieldy to account for every possibility.Pbrower2a (talk) 03:52, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

senetors not up for reelection[edit]

Can we possibly put a section that says "Senetors expected to return for 112th Congress and not up for re-election" or something along those lines. I mean I know a lot of senators' terms are expiring but a lot of them are not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.10.189.42 (talk) 02:47, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

  • That's a good idea. Go ahead!—Markles 20:39, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
    • I agree, it was a good idea. So I did it. ^_^
      Blindman shady 18:49, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

435 representives?[edit]

I think it is a little premature to include that. We have a census before it. --70.119.99.171 (talk) 12:39, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

A US law that's been in place for decades locks the number of representives in place at 435 regardless of the census results. Under the current law the census is used to determine how many representives each state gets and then within the states the boundaries of the districts. Jon (talk) 19:58, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

TBD[edit]

Shouldn't this article make it clear that TBD stands for "To Be Determined"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.190.137.119 (talk) 05:27, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

  • OK, good point. Can you be bold and replace "TBD" with "[[TBD]]"?—Markles 11:40, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Don't you think it's a bit early to be calling the new Majority/Minority leaders and the Speaker?69.250.147.85 (talk) 03:27, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

North Carolina CD 2 (Ellmers vs. Etheridge) is in a recount. I haven't seen any news coverage of its progress or status. A series of IP editors have insisted on inserting Ellmers as the winner after I've reverted it to TBD with an explanation why. The state will certify the votes next week, so it won't be "TBD" for long. I don't want to babysit the article or risk violating 3RR, since it may not qualify as "obvious vandalism." Suggestions? JTRH (talk) 17:30, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

A bit of research reveals that the recount started Wed 11/17 and will reportedly be completed Fri 11/19, with all results certified by the State Board of Elections on Tues 11/23. Rather than revert the entry to TBD, I followed it with "(pending recount)" and asked that it be left alone until the recount is completed. I will consider removal of the recount tag before then to be vandalism. JTRH (talk) 17:35, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

John Boehner, Speaker?[edit]

Is it appropriate to say that the Speaker will be Boehner? I know it's almost certain he will become Speaker in January, but it is not absolutely certain yet. For now, I'd leave it, but I think it may be an issue that needs resolving. Lyly _ Neuc (talk) 00:46, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

  • I think it's very likely. Is it too speculative? Probably. Let's wait until we have a citable source, so it's not original research. —Markles 01:15, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Though it's likely to be Boehner, we should use tbd in that column, until the 112th US Congress has chosen. GoodDay (talk) 00:40, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Boehner was officially chosen as the Republican nominee for Speaker yesterday, Nov. 17. A series of IP editors have repeatedly re-inserted him as Speaker after it was reverted to TBD. I inserted Speaker-designate in the infobox (which is in fact his title at this point), and hopefully that'll avoid further escalation of the edit war. JTRH (talk) 17:24, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
He's only the Republicans nominee for Speaker & nothing more at this point. The Democrats have their nominee for Speaker too. Please be patient folks & wait until January 3, 2011. GoodDay (talk) 16:07, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
As stated here and elsewhere, he's the Speaker-designate between the time the Republicans nominated him and the time he's actually elected on the first day of the new Congress. Adequate sourcing has been provided. JTRH (talk) 19:36, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
For all we know, a bunch of Republicans might change their minds & vote for the Democratic nominee (Pelosi), or Boehner could be dead by January 3, 2011; or forced out of the race. Having Boehner as speaker-designate or speaker-anything, is a form of crystal-balling. GoodDay (talk) 19:42, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Check the link I provided. 55,000 Google hits for the exact phrase "speaker-designate John Boehner" (including the fact that he now refers to himself by that title) isn't concrete enough for you?JTRH (talk) 19:53, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
You've got the sources, so I won't be reverting. Sadly, those sources (and Boehner) are crystal-balling. Anyways, I won't protest here, anymore. GoodDay (talk) 19:59, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Not a crystal ball. It's like "president-elect." Boehner has already been nominated for Speaker by the party which won a majority of the seats in this month's election. That makes Boehner the speaker-designate. An example that just occurred to me: When Newt Gingrich announced after the 1998 election that he would be resigning both as speaker and from his House seat, Bob Livingston was chosen by the Republican Conference to succeed him as speaker. Livingston also resigned not long after, but between the nomination and resignation, he was the speaker-designate, even if only for three days or however long it took. Then Hastert was nominated and became the speaker-designate until he was actually elected as Speaker. JTRH (talk) 20:15, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
I still disagree, but it'll be irrelevant in 5-weeks. GoodDay (talk) 21:06, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
You're disagreeing with NBC News, the Los Angeles Times, United Press International, the last two people to whom the term has applied (Pelosi and Boehner have both referred to themselves as "speaker-designate") and the speakers of several state Houses. And that was just what came up in the first couple of pages of Google hits. Even if (as you said on your talk page), it's a "media-created term," there is overwhelming evidence that it is the accepted term for the person in that position. JTRH (talk) 21:10, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Tea Party and Birthdates[edit]

How about some notation for Tea Party and maybe some birthdates? Pwalker1972 (talk) 18:22, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

President pro tempore[edit]

Does Daniel Inouye have to stand for 're-election' as prez pro temp upon the opening of the 112th Congress? or is the position continous. GoodDay (talk) 11:16, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

  • I believe there's a new election every Congress.—Markles 01:55, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
    • I'm under the impression that it's a continuing office until the Senate chooses someone else, which only happens in practice if the incumbent dies or party control changes. I base this on a Congressional Record search of the first week of the 109th Congress (2005, Stevens' second Congress as PPT) and the 111th (2009, Byrd's second after the Democrats regained control). In both cases, there's no indication that a new resolution of election was brought up. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the incumbent continues in office without having to be re-elected. JTRH (talk) 02:05, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Too close to call[edit]

Races that haven't been called yet should be listed as "Too close to call" and no candidate, leading or not, should be listed. Right?—Markles 14:47, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. There's also the chance that Alaska Senate could wind up in the courts and we'll be in another Minnesota situation, with no one seated on January 5.DCmacnut<> 15:57, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Also, even though the races have been called by some of the media organizations, the Democrats in Texas-27 and New York-25 (who are currently behind) have both requested recounts. Also, the losing Democrat in NC-2 has through today to request a recount. Shouldn't these be listed as "too close to call" as well until someone concedes or election officials finalize the counts?DCmacnut<> 16:03, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I've changed the House party numbers in the summary table to TBD across the board, but with the 8 undecided races (including those with scheduled recounts) the numbers stand at 238 R and 189 D. Do we put those numbers in, since those are known results, or do we just leave it TBD blank until everything is finalized?DCmacnut<> 21:16, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Would Murkowski be considered an "Independent" rather than a "Republican"?[edit]

The two current Independent senator's are listed with an "I" even though they caucus with the Democrats. If Murkowski is declared the winner in the current Alaska Senate race, wouldn't it be more accurate to list her with an "I" even though she will probably caucas with the Republicans? user:mnw2000 17:23, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

  • She would remain a Republican; she is not an independent.—Markles 17:38, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
    • Interesting... So, either of the two Independent Senators could "join" the Democratic party rather than just caucusing with them? Maybe we should list the Senators by the party they caucus with. user:mnw2000 18:54, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
      • Yes, they (Lieberman & Sanders) could "join" the Democratic Party, but they haven't. We should continue listing them by their actual party registration, or at least by the own personal declaration of party identification. We should continue listing them in the party summary section by their caucus. Decades ago, there were as many as five or six well represented parties, which caucused with various alliances. See some of the previous Congresses for other examples.—Markles 19:14, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
        • Um, if Murkowski gets elected, I believe it will be the second time in U.S. history that a write-in candidate will have been elected to Congress, the first being Strom Thurmond. Maybe someone should include that info somewhere on this page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.160.211.96 (talk) 18:51, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
It's a little more complicated than that. Murkowski and Thurmond are the only people elected to the Senate by running write-in campaigns against candidates who were on a printed ballot. But in 1946, according to the article on William Knowland, he was already the appointed incumbent in a California seat, and won a special election for the rest of the term in which the ballot was a blank sheet with no one listed on it, and voters had to write in the name of their choice, i.e., Knowland wasn't at the presumed disadvantage that Murkowski and Thurmond were, but theoretically, he was elected as a "write-in candidate." So depending on how you define that, Murkowski's either second or third overall, and the first or second Republican - Thurmond was a Democrat at the time of his election. But she's definitely the first woman elected as a write-in, and definitely the first successful write-in candidate since 1954. JTRH (talk) 00:38, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Isn't this entire article a Crystal Ball at the moment?[edit]

Yes, the election results are in, except for a few recounts. And yes, we know what's expected to happen. The Republicans will gain control of the House and Rep. Boehner will be elected Speaker. The Democrats will narrowly keep control of the Senate. But since none of this has actually occurred yet, isn't this entire article a violation of WP:CRYSTAL until noon on January 3, 2011? The charts in the article list people as Members of the 112th Congress. Until they're actually sworn in, roughly a month and a half from now, they're Members-Elect, which applies to the entire membership of the House and 35 Senators. Only the Senators whose terms don't expire on Jan. 3 are continuing members of the body. It's possible that death or resignation will affect this list in the next month and a half. Several of the other relevant articles, e.g., Seniority in the United States Senate, have been updated as necessary with 112th Congress information on individual editors' sandboxes, but nothing's going to be inserted into the encyclopedia as fact until the 112th actually convenes and these things have actually happened. I'd like to submit a question for discussion: Should this article be pulled down and stored somewhere, with the appropriate work done on it to make it ready for immediate publication at the appropriate time (12 noon Eastern Time on January 3), but have none of it stated as fact when none of it has actually happened yet? Thanks for hearing me out. JTRH (talk) 03:04, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't think so. CRYSTAL is normally an issue because there are no reliable sources for future events, and as such it involves a lot of guesswork and/or original research. Listed right on the mini-essay WP:CRYSTAL it says the following:

Individual scheduled or expected future events should only be included if the event is notable and almost certain to take place... If preparation for the event is not already in progress, speculation about it must be well documented. Examples of appropriate topics include the 2012 U.S. presidential election... (emphasis mine)

We have this very well documented, and firmly within the mold of 2012 U.S. presidential election; the article states the events are planned, which I think is appropriate enough for the reader. Really the idea behind CRYSTAL is to avoid tons of guessing games, not deprive the reader of important information when it's properly noted and sourced. Magog the Ogre (talk) 03:28, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
All the same, let's keep the Speakership listed as undecided, until the House elects a Speaker. GoodDay (talk) 23:50, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Speaker-designate[edit]

I reverted the most recent edit on the infobox, to restore Boehner's full title as speaker-designate and the citation to a list of uses of that title. There's been an edit war on this page between those who argue that it's appropriate to call Boehner the speaker now because "we know that it will happen," and those who argue that it's "TBD" until the moment he's actually elected and sworn in, since "he could die before Jan. 3" or otherwise be prevented from becoming speaker. I originally inserted "speaker-designate" in an attempt to stop the edit war, which has thus far been unsuccessful.

I reverted to "speaker-designate" with the reflink because the appropriate title is "speaker-designate," not Speaker of the House John Boehner (designate). And the link is there to prevent further complaints from those editors who have claimed that the title either does not exist or is "media-created." I wish the infobox could be "simplified," but it obviously can't without re-inflaming the edit war. Here are the facts:

John Boehner was nominated on Nov. 17, 2010, to serve as Speaker of the House by the party which won the majority of the seats in this month's election. That makes him the Speaker-designate. That title is in widespread accepted use, as is demonstrated by the reflink I provided showing more than 50,000 uses of that title. No, he is not the Speaker yet. No, it is not "TBD." He is the Speaker-designate now. That is not speculation or crystal-balling. That is a documented fact. And unless something drastically changes, he will become Speaker when the new Congress convenes. Speculating that something might happen between now and Jan. 3 to prevent Boehner's taking office is crystal-balling to a far greater extent than projecting that the person who's been nominated by the majority party will, in fact, take the position in a little over a month.
The term "speaker-designate" is documented to be the accepted term for a person in Boehner's position. In the first couple of pages of Google hits shown by the link, the term is shown to be used by NBC News, United Press International, the Los Angeles Times, the speakers of several state legislative houses, the U.S. House itself, and both John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi themselves. There is no basis whatsoever to challenge that term or to claim that it doesn't exist.
The information in the infobox is based on documented facts. If the edit war persists, I'm going to move either for page protection or to remove the page altogether until the next Congress actually convenes. Yes, I'm the person who suggested above that the entire page might be crystal-balling, but at this point, it isn't. I'm sorry for the rant, but this situation has become very frustrating in the last couple of days. Thanks for hearing me out. JTRH (talk) 13:28, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Member list, List Murkowski[edit]

Lisa Murkowski is an Independent this upcoming congress. I changed the R to an I next to her name. The picture showing the states members needs to reflect Alaska as a 1 democrat, 1 independent state and therefore should be gray, not purple. Someone please change that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.28.132.146 (talk) 04:52, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

    • Is Ms. Murkowski truly an independent? She is still a member of the Republican Party. user:mnw2000 14:27, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
      • The Senate Website lists her as a Republican. She has announced that she will caucus with the Republicans in the next Congress. The fact that she was re-elected as a non-partisan write-in does not automatically mean that her party designation will change in the next Congress. She gets to choose her own designation, and the article shouldn't change the designation away from R until there's an official word on it. And there's no rush on that. JTRH (talk) 20:01, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Start Date[edit]

Does the Congress "start" on January 3rd (as is listed in the first paragraph of the article) or January 5th (when the first session takes place)? Don't the new senators need to be "sworn" in which will not happen until the first session? user:mnw2000 22:05, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

  • The Congress starts on January 3. The 1st session is on January 5. Everyone will be sworn on January 5, but terms legally begin on January 3; the oath does not "make" you a member of Congress.—Markles 22:12, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
The terms begin on January 3, but Congress has the power to pass a law to establish a different date for the annual assembly which is constitutionally required. This year, it's January 5. However, Article VI of the Constitution says that members of Congress "shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution," which would make it seem that they would need to be sworn in before they could legally do anything. Of course, two-thirds of the Senate continues in office, with their oaths from two or four years ago still in effect. JTRH (talk) 00:28, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

…Just so you know, it turns out we discussed this same question two years ago for the previous Congress. (See Talk:111th United States Congress/archive 1#When does the Congress "begin"?) Perhaps we should incorporate this information into an article so we can refer to it again two years from now. —Markles 01:30, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

In otherwords, January 3 is the date for when lame-duck representatives & senators leave office, period. January 3rd, is not the automatic date for incoming representatives & senators to begin their terms (though of course, the earliest date). GoodDay (talk) 02:17, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Personally, I've always found it quite confusing. Since the US Constitution declares US representatives terms to be 2yrs -exactly- & US senators terms to be 6 yrs - exactly (fill-ins being the exceptions for both, of course). GoodDay (talk) 04:58, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

The Huey Long case is notable. GoodDay (talk) 03:10, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

      • In fact, this could be a very serious issue, so let's resolve it. Since the Speaker of the House is second in line of succession for the office of President, it does really matter.

Who is this person as of January 3rd, 2011 Nanci Pelosi or John Boehner? Was it Nanci Pelosi until January 2nd? user:mnw2000 02:56, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Terms begin & end on January 3 (at noon, not at midnight Jan. 2). It is the automatic date for incoming members to begin their terms. For example, Ross Feingold & Alan Greyson lose their jobs tomorrow. Granted, they stopped working a couple weeks ago. The new guys technically begin their jobs Jan. 3; they move into offices, shmooze in the hallways, fill out W-2 forms whatever. The new Congress meets in session on Jan. 5 - electing a Speaker, consider legislation, etc. Until then, I suppose Pelosi remains speaker. There's probably some statute dealing with that question, however. Meanwhile, please see our other discussions, as I referenced above. —Markles 03:03, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
I believe until a new Speaker is sworin-in, the Senate president pro temp becomes next in line after the US Vice President. Unless she's re-elected Speaker (by the House), her tenure as Speaker expires at Noon EST, Jan 3. GoodDay (talk) 03:16, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Pelosi's term as Speaker expires when the 111th Congress officially ends, at noon on January 3. If the new Congress doesn't convene at that time, there is no Speaker until they do convene (in this case, two days later) and elect the Speaker. That's true whether or not the incumbent Speaker continues in office. As has been pointed out above, it's not a serious issue for the Presidential succession, since the Vice President, President pro tem and Cabinet officers continue in their positions and remain in their places in the line of succession. JTRH (talk) 03:26, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
I think I just said that. GoodDay (talk) 03:27, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. (Guess I read too much Clancy!) user:mnw2000 04:53, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

January 3rd vs. January 5th[edit]

  • CSPAN had a live press conference today with Rep. Nancy Speaker (Tuesday, January 4, 2010). She was listed by CSPAN in their screen credits as "Speaker of the House and Incoming Minority Leader." In the press conference, Rep. Pelosi and the journalists attending kept acknowledging today (January 4th) as her last full day as Speaker (in addition to the title listed by CSPAN). If CSPAN is correct, then the terms of outgoing lawmakers, etc, are still not expired until January 5th. New Members have also not yet been sworn into office (January 5th). Scanlan (talk) 18:55, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
    • Another FYI - The official web sites for outgoing Members of the House and Senate are still up as of January 4th, 2010. The web sites for incoming members are not yet up. The web sites will probably be changed once members are officially sworn into office tomorrow. I would go with January 5th, 2010, as the start and end dates for members' terms in office instead of January 3rd. Scanlan (talk) 18:55, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
    • Additionally, articles published on Tuesday, January 4th, by Politico and other papers also acknowledge "House Speaker-elect John Boehner" rather than "House Speaker John Boehner" and "incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor" rather than "Majority Leader" (Politico)([1]). It looks very likely that none of these titles or terms in office officially take effect until members are sworn in on January 5th during the first session. Dates may have to be changed accordingly. Scanlan (talk) 19:22, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Here's the latest article on the subject from Politico just to add to the confusion, published January 4th. Politico: Speaker, Madame or just Ms. Pelosi?

(outdent) The 20th Amendment to the Constitution clearly states "the terms of Senators and Representatives [shall end] at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin." All outgoing members had their terms cease on January 3 at noon and all incoming had their terms start at that time. January 5 swearing in is required as well, but it does not change when their term starts. The fact that websites for outgoing members haven't been deleted is irrelevant.

I agree that Pelosi's term is another question. Boehner has to be officially elected Speaker tomorrow, so his term won't start until January 5. Pelosi could "theoretically" be elected speaker, since the vote is by the full house and the Democrats will nominate her for speaker - she'll get votes but won't win. The question is whether a term as Speaker continues for those few days prior to the election of a new one. However, past precedent when speakers have changed indicate (Dennis Hastert) indidates that January 3 is the end of a Speaker's term, since a new Speaker must be elected every Congress - even if to reelect them. We simply don't have a lot of cases where an outgoing speaker remains in Congress after losing the gavel. Hastert and Pelosi are the only recent ones. Pelosi's congressional bio clearly indicates she was speaker for the 110th and 111th Congress only,[2] so unless a reliable House-based source (not a news organizations news ticker). Her term as minority leader won't officially begin until January 5 when the House convenes and organizes.DCmacnut<> 20:41, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

There's another contradiction concerning the representatives & senators. According to the 20th Amendment, re-elected representatives & senators 'should show' (for example) a 2-day gap in their tenures between 111th & 112th Congresses. See article infoboxes of multiple consecutive terms of other representatives & senators, for exmaple, from previous Congresses. GoodDay (talk) 21:32, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't follow. Are you validating the point that terms start and end at noon on January 3, hence there is no gap for re-elected members, or are you arguing that there is indeed a gap in service? Section 1 of the 20th is terms, and is separate from Congress's authority under Section 2 to set any date they choose to convene their annual session. Congress could pass a law delaying the first session until late February if they wanted to.DCmacnut<> 21:51, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm just wondering what to do with re-elected representatives & senators. According to the 20th amendment (for example) Reid's previous term ended January 3, 2011 & his next term will begin January 5, 2011 (assuming congressional terms begin with oaths of office). Thus we'd have to reflect that 2-day gap in Reid's infobox. GoodDay (talk) 22:01, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
But then, do congressional terms automatically begin upon the expiration of the previous terms, which would reflect the US Constituion's Article I, which states that an elected term for representatives must be exactly 2-yrs & elected senators exactly 6-years. GoodDay (talk) 22:05, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, new terms automatically begin on January 3 at noon. "and the term of their successor shall begin." Re-elected members succeed themselves, so there is no gap in service. The 112th Congress runs from Jan 3, 2011 to Jan 3, 2013, even though Congress has decided to wait two days to formally meeting. The oath is required by Article VI of the Constutition, but the 20th Amendment dictates that their term begins even before taking the oath.DCmacnut<> 22:30, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
OK, thanks for the clarification. GoodDay (talk) 22:47, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Here's a New York Times piece from earlier this week that's relevant to this issue. It reflects that this debate has sometimes received real world attention; it's not just a Wikipedia style issue. The convention in all the sources, though, is never to reflect gaps in congressional service when a new Congress is convened slightly after January 3rd. (This is inevitably going to happen sometimes, because sometimes January 3rd will fall on a weekend, or right after one.)

There does appear to be a legitimate anomaly regarding presidential succession vis-a-vis the Speaker position, but hopefully this will remain in the realm of purely theoretical concerns. Of course, that's what they said about the Electoral Count Act before 2000, too. Newyorkbrad (talk) 07:49, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Pete Sessions and Mike Fitzpatrick - oath controversy[edit]

They were not sworn in on Jan 5 with the rest of the House, so an editor changed their term start to jan 6, when they were formally sworn. Just wanted to alert folks to the issue. The oath mishap being reported likely affected the legality of any votes they took before being sworn, and the the House is reviewiyet the matter. Yet, based on the discssions above, it would not impact their term starting on Jan 3 with the rest of the members-elect. Just like we don't list the terms for the 112th starting on Jan 5 (the oath day for the other 433 members), neither should we list these members as Jan 6. If anyone has any comments, please add them below.DCmacnut<> 04:33, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Dcmacnut. JTRH (talk) 16:56, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
An oath does not a Representative make. Every time I heard this story on the news this week I thought back to our (many) discussions on this topic. As a member of Project U.S. Congress, I knew more about this than all of the news media and most of the members of Congress. —Markles 20:44, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree, but this story has actually shown that it a little less cut and dry that that. Federal law and House precedents are very clear on the matter. It takes both to be a representative. That is why the votes taken by Sessions and Fitzpatrick on January 5 and 6 prior to the oath have been nullified. They weren't legally authorized to cast any votes. The 20th Amendment says one thing (terms) but Article VI says that an oath is required. There were three members who took the oath January 6. DeFazio (who was out of town on January 5), Sessions, and Fitzpatrick. Under the terms of 2 U.S.C. § 25, members must take the oath "previous to taking their seats." In practical terms, this means they cannot carry out any official actions until the oath is adminstered, but that still doesn't change the fact that their term started January 3. A better statement would be An oath does not reflect the start of a term. DCmacnut<> 23:06, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
DCmacnut got to the talk page before I could. An oath is indeed a necessary condition to be a Representative. They were still Representatives-elect unless and until they took the Oath. JasonCNJ (talk) 23:10, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree. I think the distinction is that the term starts (under the 20th amendment) on the 3rd. At that point, no one may bar a rep-elect from taking the oath and his seat (absent a vote of the House denying him his seat or a two-thirds vote expelling him), but he still must take that oath to take his seat. --Coemgenus 01:29, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
So why didn't Al Franken's term start on Jan 3, 2009? Rillian (talk) 02:43, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
because there was no winner in that race on January 3. The election hand't been certified by Minnesota due to the recount and legal challenges. Certification is a prerequisite to becoming a member-elect. It was certified by Minnesota that July, hence the delay in his term. The same would have been true for Murkowski if Miller had continued to challenge her certification. That was one of her primary legal arguments. If Alaska hand't certified her win by Jan 3, then her old term would have expired and she would have had a gap in service if she were later certified for the new term.DCmacnut<> 03:05, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Why Obama pic for the Congress Page??[edit]

Why would you use the leader of the Executive Branch, Barack Obama, as your first picture on a page dedicated to the Legislative Branch? It seems unnecessary and a bit misleading, since a President doesn't have any control/connection to Congress. Is the State of the Union part of the everyday functioning of the American Legislature? If not, why not a picture of The Speaker/Majority Leader, or the House/Senate floor, or something focused exclusively on the Legislative Branch instead? Thank you.114.146.159.115 (talk) 02:31, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

  • The State of the Union is part of the everyyear functioning of the American legislature, but it's certainly not a great example of the 112th Congress. It's an event that happened during this Congress, and that's why it's there. If a better, more legislative, picture were available, I'd happily replace it.—Markles 14:16, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Now there are two, almost identical, photos of Obama. Seems a little odd. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Francispotter (talkcontribs) 06:06, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

  • I'd rather have something more Congressional there. Please find something more Congress-worthy, and that would be much better. Until then, however, the state-of-the-union pix are legit, just not the best we could do.—GoldRingChip 18:49, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Mid-term beginning dates[edit]

We are once again seeing an edit war, with Kathy Hochul's date of taking office being bounced back and forth between May 24, when she was elected, and today, June 1, when she was sworn in. Can we locate a definitive source stating which is correct, so this dispute doesn't crop up every time there's a special election? The Clerk of the House's practice is to add her to the official list as of the date of oath-taking, but to list the election date as the date for beginning of service. She wouldn't have been able to vote on anything until she took the oath. Thanks, JTRH (talk) 23:25, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

  • When a member of Congress is elected mid-term, service begins on the date of the special election. The oath of office is an important formality, but it does not affect the service date. Thus, Kathy Hochul's beginning date is May 24, 2011, the day she was elected. One exception, however, arises when the member-elect was ineligible to serve. For example, Dean Heller, a Rep. from Nevada, was appointed to the U.S. Senate. He was ineligible to serve until he resigned from the House. Upon his resignation from the House, he became a Senator.—Markles 13:04, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I disagree, Markles. The election date is irrelevant, especially if the election is certified only at some later time. There is no retroactive tenure. In olden times it took a long time to count the ballots, sometimes even the election date is not ascertainable anymore. The date of taking the seat is the only way to confirm that somebody was (or is) a member. Hochul should be listed as in office since June 1. As JTRH correctly said "She wouldn't have been able to vote on anything until she took the oath." Besides, as you say above, the other rule would be full of exceptions, you state just one. Whereas the date of taking the seat has no exceptions, it would be the same rule for everybody. Kraxler (talk) 16:16, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Neither date is "correct" or "incorrect," as both are relevant information, and both would be included in the biographical article about a Member. We should reach an editorial consensus as to which one is the more useful for lists, tables, and infoboxes. Relevant factors for this discussion might include which date is reflected in official Congressional sources, as well how using one versus the other might affect the order of seniority lists and so forth. Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:22, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
In the "Changes" section both dates are mentioned with explanation. Seniority is not really affected since special elections are rather rare nowadays. In this case it does not make any difference. Please show one case when a Rep was elected before another but took the seat later and then had a problem with his seniority. (I never heard about "seniority" in this context before.) Kraxler (talk) 16:27, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Actually, that question helps with the point. In 2009, Scott Murphy was elected on March 21 in an exceedingly close election. Michael Quigley was elected on April 7, and sworn in on April 21. Murphy was thereafter sworn in on April 29. The House listed both of their seniority dates as their election dates (not that seniority dates are necessarily the same as the date a term began), and the biographical directory lists their terms as beginning on their election dates. -Rrius (talk) 16:41, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflict) Her term began on May 24; as Markles said, the terms of representatives elected to fill vacancies begin on the date of the special election. The matter is determined by statute (I can find the citation again if people really care), but in this instance we have verification from Hochul's entry in the biographical directory. -Rrius (talk) 16:30, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Please give me a link to the Statute you mention, it is important in a general way, since this has been in dispute over some time. I remember having seen a lengthy discussion on this subject somewhere. "Bioguide" is full of mistakes anyway. It's a source, but its reliability is questionable. Kraxler (talk) 16:36, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
First, it is not just CongBio, but the Clerk's office that uses the date. Also, CongBio is uniform in using the election date. Anyway, the statute is 2 USC sec. 37: "The salaries of Representatives in Congress, Delegates from Territories, and Resident Commissioners, elected for unexpired terms, shall commence on the date of their election and not before." Before we get into a side discussion about whether salaries mean anything, I'll point out two things: First, members of Congress are entitled to a salary for no more and no less than the period in which they are in office. Second, while there doesn't appear to be much historical discussion about when a rep becomes a rep because they are elected, the issues surrounding appointment have led to a body of evidence making it clear that the dates specified by 2 USC are also the terms during which members serve. -Rrius (talk) 16:50, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, Rrius. The USC was enacted in 1926, possibly revised later. It's be ok for current members, so Hochul's term may be stated as beginning on May 24. In the "Changes" section, a different pattern is followed, an encyclopedic pattern, not a legalistic pattern. After all, Wikipedia is not a legal brief. The "Changes" section states, and I hope will continue to do so, both dates explaining which is which, so that the reader can know if a member possibly could have voted on a certain day. My concern was mainly with what happened until the end of the 19th century when Congress was sitting only a few months during the year, and elections and travelling was more complicated. Especially in New York, almost all original records burned in 1911, election (and resignation) dates thus are sometimes not ascertainable anymore... Kraxler (talk) 17:08, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Kraxler makes a point we need to remember in this discussion: WP is an encyclopedia, a work of historical retelling, and not a legal brief. Furthermore, I am having trouble resisting original research, for it is very tempting here. Let's continue to rely on reasonable secondary research.—Markles 17:16, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Without taking issue with the statement that "Bioguide is full of mistakes anyway" (I don't know one way or the other), I'd simply point out that it's an official publication of the United States Congress about its own membership; given that, I think the burden is on an individual editor to prove that it shouldn't be considered a reliable source (i.e., do you have specific examples of mistakes?) JTRH (talk) 20:56, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I found so many mistakes in BioGuide, it would take a week to write them here. It is a publication transcribed from old books, which were more or less reliable. The more recent entries should be a bit more accurate. Nevertheless, it's edited by a person, and Errare humanum est. Just one example: For DeWitt C. Littlejohn, Bio Guide says "member of the State assembly 1853-1855, 1857, 1859-1861, 1866, 1867, 1870, and 1871, and served as speaker 1859-1861, 1866, 1867, 1870, and 1871;" which is incorrect. He was Speaker in 1855, 1857 and 1859-1861. This has been in Bio Guide for years, while the correct info is available on Wikipedia, with unrefutable sources. Apparently it is impossible to change these mistakes at BioGuide, which makes me wary of accepting anything there without confirmation from other sources. Kraxler (talk) 15:25, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
The BioGuide is presumptively reliable but does contain some errors; for example, it contributed mightily to the old "March 3 vs. March 4 for ends of terms" debate that flared up a couple of years ago. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:05, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

The Clerk's practice, which is the official authority on the subject, appears to be to not add the member to the roll until s/he is sworn in, but then to give the date of election as the beginning of service. So Hochul shouldn't have gone on the list at all until June 1, but once on the list as of then, her relevant date should be May 24. It sounds counterintuitive, but that's the way they do it, so we should as well. I'm just interested in establishing a consistent policy so we don't go through this every single time there's a special election in the House. JTRH (talk) 00:00, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

I doubt that consistency is possible, even if we try hard to achieve it. See comments on 19th century, so we have always a certain timeline. Nevertheless we can establish a general policy, and we will see how far it goes. For recent and future special elections, we should list the successor with the election date in the member section, and list the date when the seat was taken (and stated as such) in the Changes section. I changed the headers of the template to clarify this. The election date is stated as such in the Changes section, but the reader wants to get all the info, not just one-sided legalese hairsplitting. Certainly it will cause a lot of editing, back and forth, because it is not on first sight understandable why the election date is used. (In fact, it was defined as the beginning for no other reason than to get the pay-checks that early. Before Congress sat all year round, it might have taken months for a special election winner to take his seat in December, but he could already claim the wages.) As to the March 3 vs. March 4 controversy, the March 4 supporters forget that there were never any sessions on a Sunday in those times, so actually Congress adjourned on March 2 if March 3 fell on a Sunday. It's not the actual date which counts, but the legal term length which is stated in all sources as March 4, XXXX, to March 3, XXXX + 2. Kraxler (talk) 03:45, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
I haven't worked on any of the historical articles, but consistency should at least be possible for the lists of contemporary members, where the records can be easily verified and an objectively accurate answer can be established. My whole objective is to avoid "a lot of editing, back and forth," which isn't necessary if there's a clearly identifiable correct answer and a consistent policy. JTRH (talk) 12:14, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Re: My whole objective is to avoid "a lot of editing, back and forth,", I'm 100% supporting you, but as I said, it is not easy. Here I try it again: There has been established consensus that Hochul's term began on May 24. There also can not be any question that Hochul took her seat on June 1. The beginning of the term is defined (presumably since 1926) by statute under 2 USC 37. The taking of the seat is defined by appearing in Congress, presenting credentials, being sworn in and (optional) sit down. As proof that these two things are quite distinct see the official lists, issued by the Government Printing Office: see the footnotes in 100th Congress 1987-89, for example #10 saying: "Elected August 9, 1988, to fill vacancy caused by death of Melvin Price, and became a member of the House on August 11, 1988." You see that there are two dates. ("became a member" is a recent version for "took his seat"). So we might establish a general policy to give the reader of Wikipedia articles these two dates, couldn't we, Markles? In older listings, election dates are not given, and the date of taking the seat is the only recorded date. For example see here: 20th Congress 1827-29, footnote 26 says: "Elected to fill vacancy caused by resignation of William Haile, and took his seat December 8, 1828." As I mentioned before, almost all original records of New York were burned in 1911, and election dates for special elections are difficult to ascertain. Besides, the term might then not have begun at the election day, it would be necessary to establish the origin of the statute now known as 2 USC 37. Besides, elections in New York were held on three consecutive days until 1840, so what would we count as the beginning of the term? The first day (some votes were given already), the second day (as the average), or the third day (the conclusion of the voting)? I think the point is moot anyway, but... Kraxler (talk) 15:44, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Weiner's resignation[edit]

Is Weiner's resignation effective immediately? I haven't seen anything to indicate that it isn't, but the Clerk still lists him as a sitting member and his office Website is still up, though it hasn't been updated since May 31. JTRH (talk) 20:55, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

  • I believe it's effective when read on the House floor, which won't convene until June 20, 2011. Anyone got a source on that?—Markles 00:44, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
I haven't found a definitive source either way, but the news articles (WashPost and NYTimes) are referring to his service in the past tense. No "resignation will become effective on..." date. I tend to think it's already effective but the House Website hasn't been updated to reflect that. Of course, someone's already edited his WP article to call him a former member. JTRH (talk) 02:12, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
A resignation is effective when the resignation letter says it is effective. Unfortunately, we may not know the effective date until after the fact, specifically, when it is read on the Floor. As for the news stories, treating the announcement of an intention to resign as the resignation is quite common, even in high-quality sources. Whether we get a date before the fact depends on whether Weiner's office happens to post his letter on his official site or a news source happens to get it and report the fact. As for JTRH's speculation that his resignation has already taken effect, I wouldn't take either side of the bet. I think his announcement happened before the end of the day's business, so he could have had a letter in and read on the floor on Thursday. I think it's somewhat more likely that he will take a few days to tie up some loose ends and close down his office. -Rrius (talk) 10:43, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
There's nothing about it in yesterday's Congressional Record. I'm going to keep an eye out for an official posting of some kind. JTRH (talk) 11:02, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Multiple media report that the letter "did not arrive in the House Thursday," so it's not official yet. It doesn't appear that a copy has been released to the media yet, as opposed to just the oral statement that he's doing it. JTRH (talk) 11:16, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
On a related note, does anyone know if the resignation has to be "accepted" to take effect, or does it happen as soon as the letter is received and entered into the record? JTRH (talk) 13:49, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
IIRC, the answer is no. Again, if memory serves, I read a Congressional Research Service report on resignations that basically said that at one point there was a question whether, short of death or joining the Executive, a member even could resign because British MPs could not. Later there was some question over whether the House had the power to refuse a resignation, but eventually they decided that reps could leave at will. -Rrius (talk) 14:23, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
All good points. Here is an article that states what you all have been saying: [3]. We should all wait to update the charts until an official confirmation, either the letter with an effective date and time or a congressional website update. How about a note at the bottom of the "Changes in Memebership" chart informing the reader that a resignation has been publicly announced pending official confirmation? user:mnw2000 17:04, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Weiner's letter of resignation was dated today, June 20, and is effective at midnight on June 21. So, should we go back and revert all the existing references to him as a "former" representative, only to change them back in a little over 24 hours? JTRH (talk) 21:41, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Why was the Wiener entry removed from the "Changes in Membership"? He has sent the letter effective tomorrow. Is the new rule that we don't update until the effective date? user:mnw2000 22:52, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Weiner was removed before the letter was even signed. The Changes in membership entry is the one item that is okay to list before resignation. The "until X", IMHO, really shouldn't be entered until after because it gives the impression to careless readers that the legislator is already gone. -Rrius (talk) 04:08, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Party Summary[edit]

Would it not be more accurate to decrease the number of members when a Senators (or Member of Congress) leave office officially and then increase it when thier replacement is sworn in? For example Senator Ensign left office on May 3rd, but his replacement, Senator Heller did not take office until May 9th. Technically, between those dates, the Senate only had 99 members. Should not the summary reflect that? user:mnw2000 11:00, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

The number of members reflects the number of seats in the body. A resignation from the Senate means there are 100 Senate seats, one of which is vacant, not that there are 99 Senate seats. JTRH (talk) 11:02, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

You are both confusing me. Under "Party summary", the Senate section says there were 51 Dems, 2 indies, 46 GOPers, 99 total, and 1 vacancy beginning on May 3. As far as I can tell, it already does exactly what mnw2000 wants, which makes the initial question confusing and the response more so. Is there another party summary you guys are talking about? -Rrius (talk) 11:10, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Not as far as I know. JTRH (talk) 11:13, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

My error. Thanks for clearing it up. user:mnw2000 04:48, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Historical precedent of 112th Congress[edit]

The new Congress has reached a stalemate on many issues because it is divided, with Democrats controlling the Senate and Republicans controlling the House. And of course there is a Democratic President. Does anyone have the historical precedent on this--how often has it been D-D-R (Pres.-Sen.-House)? The only instance I can recall is the tail end of Clinton's term, from 3 January 2001--20 January 2001. The 107th had convened with a split in the Senate 50-50, giving Democrats control because of Vice-President Gore's tie-breaking authority; Byrd was named Pres. Pro Tempore for that stint.

I cannot think of another Democrat President who had Congress split this way.

30th Congress, 1847-49, Pres. Polk, D Senate, Whig House 34th Congress, 1855-57, Pres. Pierce, D Senate, House with majority opposed to Democrats (Opposition Parrty held plurality, not majority) 36th Congress, 1859-61, Pres. Buchanan, R House, Senate began with Democratic majority but by 17 Feb. 1861 neither party held a majority because of resignations from D Senators from seceding states. Solomon Foot (R) became Pres. Pro Tempore, with GOP having a majority of occupied seats.

65th Congress (Wilson). 1917-19. D Senate, with D leading a coalition (not a majority) in the House.


In a reverse of the situation, Jackson's supporters (Jacksonians) had control of House, but control/majority of Senate did fall to Anti-Jacksonians during all or parts of 22nd, 23rd, 24th Congresses. Cleveland, 49th Congress, R Senate, D House 50th Congress, Senate having R Pres. Pro Tempore. The composition of the Senate was 39 R--37 D; the GOP may have, at some point, lost their majority on account of a resignation, but did not lose control. The page on the 50th Congress is not clear. 53rd Congress (Cleveland). Democrats had a plurality, not a majority, in the Senate, but Charles Manderson (R) was designated Pres. Pro Tempore Mar. 4--Mar. 22, 1893. 54th Congress (Cleveland). Republicans had a plurality, not a majority, in the Senate.

112th Congress (Truman). 1951-53. D House, Senate split. The page on the 112th Congress is not clear as to who the Pres. Pro Tempore was. Is this the entire list? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 150.135.161.46 (talk) 16:09, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

David Wu[edit]

Wu (D, Oregon) has now indicated that he will resign soon (after the debt impasse crisis is over--whenever that will be); this is an update. I only recall hearing it from a radio broadcast and I don't have a source. This is a follow-up from his having announced to not seek reelection next year (NY Times, 25 July). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 150.135.161.46 (talk) 16:14, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

September 13th[edit]

Does the number of house members change with the election results or when they are sworn in by the Speaker of the House. The earliest the new representatives from NY and NV can be sworn in would be September 14th. user:mnw2000 11:53, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

They're not added to the roll until they're sworn in, but once they're sworn in, the date given for their service is the day after the election. JTRH (talk) 11:59, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
Why do we wait for the swearing?—GoldRingChip 13:56, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
Partially because of what JTRH just said, partially because that's the way we've done it, partially because it seems odd to list them before they show up, and partially because it has generally helped avoid edit wars. -Rrius (talk) 20:24, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, Rrius, I thought the consensus for the voting share table was the other way round. Did I miss something, or was it a lapse of memory? Kraxler (talk) 21:29, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
For members elected in a special election, the Clerk of the House (the official source) doesn't list them until they're sworn in, but once they are sworn in, their service is considered to have begun on the day after the election. To use the current examples, it's counterintuitive that someone who gets sworn in on September 15 is considered to have begun serving on September 14, but that's how Congress does it. JTRH (talk) 00:18, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
That's the reason for the listing of the date when the congressman took his seat, in the Changes table at the bottom. The info is there, but I'm sure it is a bit difficult for the layman to distinguish all these things. A look at this discussion should help, though. Kraxler (talk) 22:10, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Free Trade Agreements[edit]

Where will the three FTAs appear on this page? Therequiembellishere (talk) 04:19, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

When did Gab Giffords resign?[edit]

This article says 1/30, article on her says 1/25. user:mnw2000 22:11, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Images[edit]

One of the first things the reader notices when coming to this article are two images that focus on the executive branch near the top. Although images are useful, this presentation detracts from the prose and could even add confusion. They are so similar that removal of one would not hurt. Note that the same could be said for the 110th.66.235.46.168 (talk) 06:26, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Length[edit]

This article is way too long, and there are some obvious things to be done to fix it. For one, the added value of the lists of members is not clear when we already have them. Even if the lists don't completely duplicate what is already out there, the value of having that huge block of lists in the middle of the article is dubious. More more rational would be to split them out to subarticles. Knowing what committees existed and who chaired them is of some value, but it is yet another long list. The presentation is also terrible. At present we basically have a mass of blue text. Why not spin that out, but use the format from List of United States Senate committees and List of United States House of Representatives committees? -Rrius (talk) 01:29, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Isn't this article basically a list? Lots of blue links is what it's all about.—GoldRingChip 01:33, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Those are two separate issues. The committee list is a mass of blue text that is very hard to read, making it basically pointless. Right now, the article is too long. The save time alone is ridiculous. Spin out the list of representatives, the list of senators, and the list of committees, and you still have plenty of information, including the standings in each house and changes in membership. Here is an approximation of what it would look like (note that I've explained what sort of text might replace the lists in the appropriate sections). Even without those three lists, the article is still of a decent length, with the marked improvement of actually being manageable. The fact that the version I propose cuts the size down from 115kb to 39kb, and still takes more than nine screens to get through just goes to show how unspeakably long the current article is. The long lists can easily be split out without doing damage to the article, so it is hard to see why we shouldn't do it. -Rrius (talk) 02:17, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Frankly, it pains me to split up this article, but I think you're right and WP policy seems to be with you on this. (See WP:SPINOFF, WP:SPLIT, WP:SPLITLIST) Is there a way to minimize the splitting? Perhaps just split the committee chairpeople? —GoldRingChip 13:24, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't think so. The committees have to go, and the full lists of members have to go. This article is way too long, and each of those things is long enough for a separate article. -Rrius (talk) 21:56, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Can we get some more opinions before we remove the full lists of members? I think that should stay. —GoldRingChip 22:16, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Do you have a better reason than you like them? Because they make the article way too long, way too large, and all around unwieldy. -Rrius (talk) 15:19, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

“Repeal the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act”??[edit]

I'm new to this so please forgive me if I err.

Under the "Proposed" section, there is a link with the above title that apparently refers to the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act". I don't know how to change it but I just thought that the reference was both incorrect and petty.98.223.212.78 (talk) 03:16, 23 February 2015 (UTC) Fran